You’ve arrived home late from work. You’re tired, the kids are hungry, you’re under pressure to produce dinner. The takeaway menu looks inviting. You open the fridge for inspiration, and there’s the carton of eggs. Omelette, scrambled eggs, egg fried rice, frittata – eggs form the basis of many nutritious meals that can be quickly whipped up.
Eggs are a perfect food for adults and children. Here’s why:
1. Eggs pack a protein punch.
Eggs contain the world’s highest quality protein, so high that it is used as the standard by which other foods are measured. The high-quality protein in eggs provides all of the essential amino acids children’s bodies need to build and maintain muscle mass. Serving for serving, eggs also cost less than other sources of high-quality protein.
The protein in eggs provides steady and sustained energy, so eggs are a perfect inclusion at breakfast. They also go a long way to filling ravenous tummies after school. Prepare some hard-boiled eggs beforehand and keep them in the fridge – that way they are portable enough to take for a pre- or post-sport snack.
2. Eggs are incredibly nutritious.
No need to worry that you’re not providing a nutritious dinner, as eggs contain 11 different vitamins and minerals. They provide children with essential iron, iodine and zinc, vitamins A, E and K and a range of B vitamins such as B12, riboflavin and folic acid.
3. Eggs are a brilliant brain food.
Dr Drew Ramsay is a psychiatrist practising in New York. Before he prescribes any medication, he looks at his patient’s diet, and changes it to bring maximum brain benefits. And one of the best brain foods around, according to Dr Ramsay? Eggs.
Eggs contain vitamin B6, crucial for most of your brain functions, vitamin B12, great for avoiding loss of focus and boosting memory, and vitamin B9, also called folate. Folate lowers homocysteine levels in the blood, and high levels are one of the best predictors of cognitive decline. Folate can even protect our DNA from damage.
But that’s not all. Eggs provide iodine, an element central to our metabolism’s master switch, the thyroid; magnesium, known as mother nature’s ‘chill pill’ because it can calm us down; iron, which helps move oxygen around your body and brain; and zinc, which improves brain function. Eggs are also one of the few foods that contain choline, a nutrient that also supports energy and brain function.
Finally, many eggs are also high in Omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat which works to make us smarter and protects us from heart disease. What’s not to love?